Comparing USA Today, Fangraphs, and PECOTA 2017 Mariners Predictions
Depending on where you get your baseball news from, you may have noticed that a bevy of predictions for the final standings of the 2017 MLB season were released recently. Three reputable sites have the Mariners finishing in or near the playoffs. Here is a look at those bold predictions.
It’s the time of year: Prediction time. With many sites recently releasing their opinions on how the 2017 MLB standings will turn out, we’re taking a look at the USA Today, FanGrapghs, and PECOTA projections to see what record they believe the Mariners will finish with next year.
Starting with USA Today. They decided to change things up from last year, and create a new system to come up with their predictions. USA Today’s Gabe Lacques outlined the changes.
"A six-person panel of reporters and editors replaces our previous forecasting model, consisting of one well-meaning but slightly unhinged human. Consequently, there are fewer outliers and the final results look a bit more chalk, for better or worse. As last year proved, there’s costs and benefits to the human element."
According to the six-member panel, the Mariners will once again be on the outside looking in. They believe that the M’s will finish in 3rd place in the AL West behind the Houston Astros (90-72) and the Texas Rangers (89-73), with a record of 85-77, one win worse than their 2016 total.
When the 2017 season is all said and done, USA Today believes the Mariners will finish two games back of the Toronto Blue Jays for the final Wild Card spot.
If FanGraphs predictions turn out to be accurate, MLB Commissioner, Rob Manfred, and his office will be scrambling in early October trying to figure out how to handle a four-way tie to determine who will get the elusive final wild card spot.
They also are projecting that both the AL West and AL East will be the two strongest divisions in baseball with each division having four of their five teams finishing with a record above .500.
Fangraphs has the Mariners finishing with a record of 83-77, three games below their record last year. With that record, the site has the Mariners finishing tied for 4th in the division, their worst ranking of these three predictions.
The PECOTA (Player Empirical Comparison and Optimization Test Algorithm) is a calculated way the folks at Baseball Prospectus determine the rankings. Their methodology goes as follows:
"1) Major-league equivalencies, to allow us to use minor-league stats to project how a player will perform in the majors;2) Baseline forecasts, which use weighted averages and regression to the mean to produce an estimate of a player’s true talent level;3) A career-path adjustment, which incorporates information about how comparable players’ stats changed over time."
We see that this formula gives that Mariners their best chance to make a World Series run. This is the only one of the three projections that put the Mariners in the playoffs with a record of 87-75, one win better than 2016 and good enough for 2nd place in the AL West.
Furthermore, it has them sitting in the top wild card spot with a comfortable three-game cushion on the Rangers and Tampa Rays.
Next: Mariners Rotation Helps Their Title Chances
Now that you’ve seen what the “experts” have to say about the 2017 Mariners, let us know what you think in the comments section below or on Twitter at SodoMojoFS.